Project Status

Project Type:  Rainwater Catchment

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 231 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Maganyi Primary School was founded in 1987 by community members who fundraised for the land. The school is located at Maganyi Village of Vihiga County, Kenya. The school has a population of 218 students and 11 teachers. The school also employs one cook and one security guard.

A normal day begins early in the morning when parents wake up and prepare for work on their farms and children prepare for school. Classes for the pupils begin at 7 am, beginning with study hall. There's assembly at 8 am when teachers make announcements for each day, after which regular lessons begin at 8:15 am and stretch to 4:15 pm, including breaks. Finally, the students end the day with games until 5 pm when they return to their homes.

Teachers are responsible for teaching various subjects ranging from science, social studies, maths to languages. Pupils attend lessons, play in the field, and clean the compound and their classrooms. This school is situated in a very quiet environment that has electricity and a good road network that provides easy accessibility.

Water Situation

Headteacher Benedict Senelwa narrated an incident whereby he himself had to intervene on behalf of the school and its right to water. He stepped in to address how the community was harassing pupils who go to fetch the water from the nearby spring. To him, the big challenge was that villagers were demanding that they had the right to fill their containers with water before the students, making students get in the back of the line again.

"We had to hold a public meeting which included all stakeholders of the village to try and air out our complaints so as to have a solution on this matter once and for all. The presence of our area chief had a lot of impact, as every attendee was given an opportunity to say a word which could help eliminate the problem. When I stood to explain my reason of calling such a meeting, the whole process was full of emotions as many of those who attended the meeting felt the kind of harassment and torture that the pupils go through as they try to get the water. After the meeting, it was agreed that the pupils will always be given the first priority to fetch water and save on their time of studies," shared the headteacher.

During our baseline visit, one of the village elders stopped us and told the headteacher that he himself has taken initiative to ensure that no one would ever harass the pupils while trying to fetch water. He further said that he will be escorting the pupils to the spring whenever he is around to ensure they get the water within the shortest time possible!

Though the school is blessed with Life Straw containers, the challenge of accessing safe water remains unsolved. The containers are only meant for purification of water, but not storage. Whether or not he community is welcoming, students still have to sacrifice valuable study time to make those frequent trips to the spring.

Sanitation Situation

There are seven latrines on school grounds that are all in fairly good condition. With a student population of over 200, that puts the number of students using one latrine at over 30. The concrete has held up well, and most of them still have their doors. The only shortcoming is that there isn't enough water to keep latrines as clean as they should be.

There is one hand-washing station for the students to use after they use those latrines.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

Training will be held for two days. The facilitator will use PHAST (participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation), ABCD (asset-based community development), CTC (child to child), lectures, group discussions, and handouts to teach health topics and ways to promote good practices within the school. The CTC method will prepare students to lead other students into healthy habits, as well as kickstart a CTC club for the school. This CTC club will oversee the new facilities, such as hand-washing stations, and make sure they are kept clean and in working condition. The two hand-washing stations will be delivered to the school, and the club will fill them with water on a daily basis and make sure there is always a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

Plans: VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrines will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls while the other three serve the boys. And with a new source of water on school grounds, students and staff should have enough to keep these new latrines clean.

Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank

A 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank will help alleviate the water crisis at this school. The school will also help gather the needed materials such as sand, rocks, and water from the spring for mixing cement (students have already started helping). Once finished, this tank can begin catching rainfall that will be used by the school’s students and staff. Students will no longer be responsible to find enough water to carry to school every day.

We and the school strongly believe that with this assistance, standards will significantly improve. These higher standards will translate to better academic performance!

Project Updates

December, 2018: A Year Later: Maganyi Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Maganyi Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

February, 2018: Maganyi Primary School Project Complete

Maganyi Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your generous donation. A new rainwater catchment system has been built, and there are now six new latrines being used. Two hand-washing stations have been installed, and students have received training in sanitation and hygiene. Just imagine the difference these resources will make in the lives of these students!

You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this rainwater catchment tank and many other projects.

Project Result: New Knowledge

We immediately started working with Headteacher Benedict to plan hygiene and sanitation training at his school. He had each of his teachers pick at least one student with strong leadership qualities, while also keeping training open for any other students who volunteered to attend. Attendance was great with 18 participants eager to learn new things, including students and parent representatives. We met in one of the empty classrooms on school grounds.

We taught that hygiene entails personal hygiene, water hygiene, and environmental hygiene. Attention needs to be given to each facet of hygiene to enjoy a healthy life.

An entire lesson was on management and maintenance of the new tank and latrine facilities. Regular checking and cleaning of the gutter system is a must! It’s also important to treat the water while it is still in the tank. We also covered topics including but not limited to:

– Water pollution and water treatment

– Cleaning self and clean environment

– Group dynamics, leadership, and governance

– Forming an effective CTC (child to child) club

– Hand-washing

Demonstrations were used for hand-washing, tooth-brushing, solar disinfection, and many other topics. We facilitated group discussions and presentations, and students took part in role-plays. The students also received handouts which will help them teach hygiene and sanitation to their peers.

The new hand-washing stations were delivered in time for training.

The CTC club will include both students and teachers who want to take responsibility for spreading the message of good health and hygiene among their peers. They will also be responsible for managing hand-washing stations, cleaning latrines, and keeping the school environment tidy. A water user committee has also been formed by parents and school administration, which will be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new facilities. And since the tank was finished by the time we held training, we could take everyone to see exactly what we were talking about when it comes to caring for their new water source.

Teacher Erick Sudi expected that he was needed to chaperone the students and help them understand, but he was surprised to find there was a lot he didn't know. "Today's training was indeed wonderful. I have been in the teaching profession for more than 10 years, but I have learned a lot from you people. They were things I'd always ignore, like washing my hands thoroughly with soap. They are now very important to me and all of us," he shared.

Training participants gather outside for a group picture.

Project Result: VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new VIP (ventilated improved pit) latrines. All of these latrines are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time!

Project Result: Hand-Washing Stations

The two hand-washing stations were delivered to school and handed over to the CTC club. These have been placed outside of the boys’ and girls’ latrines to encourage hand-washing after latrine use. CTC club members will teach other students how to properly wash their hands at these stations, and will make sure there is always soap or ash available. Now the school has the stations they need, and they have the water to fill them.

Practicing hand-washing some more outside.

Project Result: Rainwater Catchment Tank

Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction. All the while, women cooked meals for the artisans, and the school provided accommodations for the artisans during their work. Some local men and women even helped our artisans with their manual labor.

The construction process officially began with our staff and school administration moving around the school compound to try and determine the best location for a new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater.

Rainwater tank construction began with clearance of the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying hardcore on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.

As the foundation was being lain, both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed.

After the superstructure had been given enough time to settle, the dome construction followed. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standards.

The tank was given three to four weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Maganyi Primary School. Though they're still working on proper drainage, the tank already has some good, clean water in it!

The PTA chairperson said, "This new water source will assist us greatly in terms of water harvesting and storage. The time that our pupils used to waste going to fetch water from outside the school will be utilized in their studies and thus improve their academic performance." The headteacher added, "I want to take this opporunity to thank you people for the assistance in providing this school with a big rain harvesting tank, six VIP latrines, and two hand-washing facilities. This is a dream to me which I cannot try to wake. It is unbelievable to me what you people have done within a very short period of time!"

January, 2018: Maganyi Primary School Project Underway

Maganyi Primary School will soon have an adequate source of clean water thanks to your generous donation! A rainwater catchment tank and new latrines are being constructed, hand-washing stations provided, and the school is being trained on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Thank you for noticing the need here, and we’ll keep you posted as the work continues. But for now, enjoy our introduction to the school complete with stories, maps, and pictures.

Thank You for partnering with us to unlock potential!

Project Photos

Project Type

For a rainwater collection system, we build gutters around a building with good, clean roofing to channel rain where we want it. From there, the water falls through a filtered inlet pipe into a high-capacity storage tank, the size of which is based on population and average rainfall patterns. In the tank, water can be stored for months, where it is easily treated and accessed. Learn more here!

A Year Later: Maganyi Primary School

December, 2018

“My life has not been the same since the project was completed,” said 12-year-old Brevisious Lugadilo, who no longer misses school due to waterborne illnesses.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Maganyi Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Maganyi Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to construct a rainwater tank for Maganyi Primary School in Kenya. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from local team member Wilson Kipchoge with you.

After the project was implemented last year, the beneficiaries have reliable access to safe, clean water at their doorstep unlike before when the students would travel far away to fetch water from a spring.

The students now wash their hands with soap every time they visit the latrines and before eating food prepared at the school. This is evidence that they are taking the lessons learned during hygiene and sanitation training to heart.

With the availability of sufficient water and enough latrines, the pupils concentrate more on their studies.

"Handwashing with soap is now a daily activity in our school," said teacher Sheliah Msilivi. "The students really enjoy cleaning their hands after visiting the latrines and before eating the food provided at the school."

Sheila Msilivi with Brevisious Lugadilo

Construction of the tank is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This project in Maganyi Primary School is changing many lives.

"My life has not been the same since the project was completed," said 12-year-0ld Brevisious Lugadilo.

Brevisious Lugadilo and Diana Mukhono watering a school vegetable garden

"I drink very safe and clean water from the tank. Before the tank was constructed at our school, getting safe water was difficult so I fell sick every week. This made me miss very important lessons."

Brevisious no longer misses class, and that is due to the tank that you helped fund a year ago.

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Maganyi Primary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Maganyi Primary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


John and Maurine Cox Foundation
The Roney Family Foundation
Brownie Troop 26679
8 individual donor(s)